Himself in the Pool

a old man in pool-hat-floatie

Today I am grateful for Himself at the pool.  Yes, he went.  Grudgingly, but he went.  Here’s how it unfolded. . .


On Thursday I had to teach four kids to swim at two different locations after my own 8:30 a.m. water aerobics class at an outdoor pool.  When I was done with my class I figured Himself must be up, so I called him.


“How about we meet at the Y at 2:30?” I asked.  Silence.  Long silence.  He hates me.  He loves me.  Not always in that order.  “Are you there?”


“I’ll think about it,” he says.  I tell him I’ll call him later. So after teaching the first kids I call him again and repeat the above.  He’s still thinking about it.  Governments are formed with less thought.  On my way to teach my last lessons I call him and TELL him to meet me at the Y at 2:30 and to bring two towels, one for when he gets out of the water and one for the locker room.  “Okay,” is all he says.


I wait for him at the entrance of the Y, so I can hustle him to the locker room before he bolts.  I go wait in the pool area.  It takes him forever to come out of the locker room.  I have gathered a flotation belt, a very large noodle and two smaller noodles.  No way is this guy going down on my watch.


He walks onto the pool deck like he’s heading to the guillotine.  Seriously.  Remember he wears hearing aids that whistle like a broken air raid siren, but he can’t wear them in the pool.  My happy day!  Good thing he reads lips.  I put the floaty on him and he steps onto the first step of the pool. . . and seizes up like an old ironing board.


“It’s cold!” he says, with accusation in his loud-because-he’s-no-wearing-hearing-aids-voice.

“It’s a pool.”  I answer.  “It’s water, that’s all.”  I didn’t want to sour him on the event any more than I had to so I figured I better let him get in at his own pace.  I planned to work with him stretching and dangling and doing some exercises for about 20 minutes.  Took him that long to get in the water!


Picture this.  He has the floating belt on his back, a big yellow noodle under his arms in front and two regular noodles under each arm front and back.  He had enough flotation devices to walk on water in the Biblical sense, yet he says, “I’m not going in the deep end.  I want to be where my feet will touch because I’m in pain.”  That’s the reason you go to the deep end, pal.


It’s no secret I float like a buoy. . .without any flotation devices at all.  My Bingo-arms are enough, but even when I didn’t have them I was still a floater.  He’s a rock.  A real sinker and I left out the “t” but he’s that, too.  Even though he was practically wearing enough air around him to be certified a life raft, he couldn’t stay upright without me holding him.


Laugh?  We were hysterical.  It’s great we were the only two in the pool, but that young lifeguard really got a show.  Himself is talking loudly because he isn’t wearing the whistlers.  I’m talking softly but close enough for him to read my lips, and he’s bobbing around like a marker for the America’s Cup.  It was a hoot.


Finally I had to take the belt off because it was making his balance worse.   I eased him to the deep end for dangling and stretches.  He stopped bitching.  I found patience, though I don’t know from where.  And we both laughed so hard, (full disclosure) we probably peed a little in the pool.  Too much?


I don’t care.  You know you’d have done the same thing.  You just wouldn’t have confessed. Gimme a break.   That’s why they make chlorine.  Not only did himself come to the pool.  He got in!  Those forty minutes helped more than he will ever acknowledge.  I can tell by how he’s moving.  He’s going again but already lobbying to not go too soon.


“No, not Sunday because I want a day off.”  “No, not on Monday because “the girls” (my aerobic friends) will laugh at me.”  “Not on. . .” blah, blah, blah.  Stubborn Irishman!  I might have to club him upside the head with a two-by-four to get him there, but think of the fun I’ll. . .er. . .we’ll have!  Yes, he read this and said, “Post the sunofabitch.”  What a poet!

If you would like to read more of my stories, please go to http://heartprintsdotcom.wordpress.com.

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3 thoughts on “Himself in the Pool”

  1. Maybe we should find a book critic, drag HIM/HER into the pool for some dangling exercises in the deep end, then ask the critic if it would be okay to write a glowing review, put his/her name on it and submit it to his/her newspaper or magazine. I’ll bet the words, “Review the sonofabitch” would come right out of his/her mouth.

  2. That’s exactly what I say about men – sometimes you gotta hit them “upside the head with a 2X4.” It must be a universal truth! Great story, Mary.

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